Big Mimics: African elephants can learn to copy sounds

12:39pm, March 23, 2005

Two captive elephants—one making truck noises and the other chirping like a different elephant species—could be the first nonprimate, land mammals demonstrated to do vocal imitations.

"It is certainly a surprise to most people, even those who know elephants," says Joyce Poole, research director of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project headquartered in Sandefjord, Norway.

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